Our Army and Navy

Performed by William H. Taft
Recorded August 5, 1908

Mr. McKinley and Mr. Roosevelt and the Republican party have constantly advocated the policy with respect to the army and the navy that will keep this republic ready at all times to defend her territory and her doctrine, and to assure her appropriate part in promoting permanent tranquility among the nations. I welcome from whatever motives the change in the Democratic attitude towards the maintenance and support of an adequate navy, and hope that in the next platform the silence of the present platform in respect to the army will be changed to an acquiescence in its maintenance to the point of efficiency in connection with the efficiently reorganized militia and the national volunteers for the proper defense of the country in times of war, and that the discharge of those duties in times of peace for which the army, as at present constituted, has shown itself so admirably adapted in the Philippines, in San Francisco, in Cuba and elsewhere. We are a world power and cannot help it, and although at peace with all the world and secure in the consciousness that the American people do not desire and will not provoke a war with any other country, we must be prudent and not be lulled into a sense of security which would possibly expose us to national humiliation. Our best course, therefore, is to insist on a constant improvement in our navy and its maintenance at the highest point of efficiency. The position which our country has won under Republican administration before the world should inure to the benefit of everyone, even the humblest of those entitled to look to the American flag for protection without regard to race, creed or color, and whether he is a citizen of the United States or of any of our dependencies. In some countries with which we are on friendly terms, distinctions are made in respect to the treatment of our citizens traveling abroad and having passports of our executive. Based on considerations that are repugnant to the principles of our government and civilization, the Republican party and administration will continue to make every proper endeavor to secure the abolition of such distinction, which in our eyes are both needless and appropriate.